Emergency Preparedness and Bleeding Disorders Emergency Preparedness and Bleeding Disorders
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Are You Ready?

During September, you are encouraged to take part in getting ready for emergencies and disasters. This might mean putting together an emergency supply kit, making a family emergency plan, or finding out about emergencies and disasters and what to do if one happens. To learn more, visit the Ready campaign website.

People With Bleeding Disorders

Disasters and emergencies affect hundreds of thousands of lives every year. Each one can have lasting effects, both for people and property. People with acute (starts suddenly and is usually short-lived such as the flu) or chronic (develops slowly and lasts a long time such as diabetes or arthritis) illness are more likely to become ill, or even die, if they cannot see their usual caregiver. And this is more likely to happen during a disaster or an emergency. The need to plan is very important if you, or someone you care for, have hemophilia or another bleeding disorder. Disasters and emergencies can create uncertainty and leave you unable to get the treatment you need when you need it most.

As part of National Preparedness Month, the National Hemophilia Foundation (NHF) is giving materials to all of its local chapters to help those in the bleeding disorders community get ready for emergencies and disasters.

The NHF also is asking you to:

Make or update a preparedness plan by September 15, 2009. Practice the plan by September 30, 2009. Emergency Preparedness and Response: Tools for You

CDC’s Division of Blood Disorders, working with the NHF and the American Thrombosis and Hemostasis Network (ATHN), is helping to provide you with the information and tools you will need if an emergency or a disaster happens, including:

Go-Bags and Readiness Cards

The NHF has developed go-bags and readiness cards, and already has given out more than 550 to those in the bleeding disorders community. The emergency go-bags have important tips to help you gather supplies in the event of an emergency or a disaster. The NHF readiness cards are wallet-sized cards on which you can write down emergency contact and treatment information to keep with you at all times. For more information about these tools, contact NHF’s information clearinghouse—known as HANDI—at 1-800-42-HANDI.

Emergency Checklists (English/Spanish)

Another NHF tool is the Family Emergency Kit Checklist. These checklists will guide you through the steps in creating a family emergency plan, make suggestions for items that should be placed in a go-bag, list tips on how you can prepare for emergencies or disasters, and list the number for the NHF Disaster Hotline. For more information about this tool, contact NHF’s information clearinghouse at 1-800-42-HANDI.

Disaster Hotline

If your hemophilia treatment center (HTC) closes because of an emergency or disaster, you can contact 1-800-42-HANDI for information on other HTCs. Someone will be at the hotline all of the time to provide information and resources during a declared emergency or disaster.

Personal Health Report via Wallet-Sized Flash Drive

You can use this ATHNready tool, produced as a wallet-sized flash drive by the HTCs, to store up-to-date personal health information. This information then can be used to help your doctors make decisions about your care in the event of an emergency. During testing of this tool, one person stated, "Having key parts of my personal health record on a flash drive allows me to manage and control my own information. I can use it when I’m traveling, in an emergency or even at home to print out my information. I can now feel confident that I will be able to get the right treatment quickly, wherever and whenever I need it." The personal health reports will be at HTCs beginning in fall 2009. For more information about this tool, contact the ATHN at 847-607-9479.

Interactive HTC Finder

This ATHNready tool was developed using Google™ maps to assist you in finding another HTC (if yours is not available) during an emergency. To use the HTC Finder go to: www.athn.org/htcfinder.

Emergency Preparedness and Response: Tools for Providers

Disaster Preparedness Plan Template and Guidebook

Drawing on best practices of HTCs across the country and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recommendations, the ATHN has developed the ATHNready Care Continuity Plan template and guidebook to help HTCs build their own readiness plans. The ATHNready Care Continuity Plan establishes disaster procedures for HTCs. These procedures include information on how to restore the Web-based infrastructure in the event of a disaster. They also leverage the Web-based infrastructure to ensure that you and your medical providers have access to accurate medical and treatment history that could reduce illness, death, and costs of care associated with a disaster or an emergency situation. For more information about this tool, contact the ATHN at 847-607-9479.